OK, I’ve Had Enough Of Winter

The long, cold winter in the Washington, DC area has taken its toll on the local food truck industry.
The long, cold winter in the Washington, DC area has taken its toll on the local food truck industry.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that we’ve had enough of this winter.  Not that the DC Metro area can compare with the likes of Norway or Hokkaido, but rather that we are just not used to this long, wintry seasons any more.  Sure, they show up every three or four years, but this lack of consistency is not enough for anyone to justify those big winter purchases, if you know what I mean.  Proof of this is the fact that a single inch of snow is enough to close all area schools and the Federal government (do they still get paid if they stay home?).  Small businesses are affected as well when area customers gravitate to shopping malls and large retailers in order to stay warm while overcoming cabin fever syndrome.  So, if by any chance Pope Francis happens to be reading this blog (I know, a long shot, but I’m going to take it anyway), I would like to ask him to do a little lobbying above his pay grade to see if this endless winter can finally be put to rest.  And just in case, a million thank-you’s in advance.

A Winter Day Along The Virginia Countryside

Even in winter, horses roam freely along the rolling meadows of the Virginia countryside near Middleburg.
Even in winter, horses roam freely along the rolling meadows of the Virginia countryside near Middleburg.
While relatively close to Washington, DC, the stables and farmhouses of the Virginia countryside appear to be worlds apart on a winter day.
While adjacent to Washington, DC, the stables and farmhouses along Route 50 are worlds apart from the Nation’s capital.
The ever-changing Virginia weather can go from intense snow to idyllic weather in the course of a morning.
The ever-changing Virginia weather can go from intense snow to idyllic weather within the course of a single morning.
The incredible beauty of the Virginia countryside near the community of Middleburg is intensified during winter months.
Some of the most beautiful farmhouses in America are only an hour away from Washington, DC.
Adjacent to the million dollar properties and vineyards along Route 50, old Virginia continues to be alive and well.
Adjacent to the million dollar properties and vineyards along Route 50, old Virginia continues to be alive and well.

It is virtually impossible to get tired of the Virginia countryside, specially if you are a photographer.  Even in winter, when local weather services constantly struggle to get their predictions right, a slow journey along the rolling landscape near Middleburg will reward you in ways that are hard to describe.  Manicured horse farms with dark wooden fences, historical dwellings side by side with million dollar mansions, gorgeous horses lazily wandering along undulating meadows, and tree-covered country roads gently disappearing into the horizon.  It is an incredible landscape constantly displaying the rich heritage of the state.  During the snowy, winter months the city-slicker crowds with their late-model BMW’s are gone and the place finally slows down to its more characteristic, rhythmic crawl.  It is the slowness, surrounded by incredible beauty, that nourishes your photographic soul.

Winter Calm

A serene atmosphere sets in by the river banks during cold, winter days when the crowds disappear won't dare to venture outside.
A serene atmosphere sets in by the river banks during cold, winter days when crowds disappear and life seems to slow down to a crawl.

Something good always happens in our national capital region when a snow storms forces most of the government to shut down for a few days.  For starters, the entire region’s stress level comes down a notch or two.  Bureaucrats get to enjoy a paid day off courtesy of the taxpayers and the environment gets a bit cleaner thanks to tens of thousands of commuters staying home for the day.  What’s more, a sort of calm sets into the area with the falling snow, giving people a chance to reconnect with themselves and the place where they live.  It may not be quite enough for advocates of the Slow Movement to label Washington, DC as a Slow City, but it’s nice to experience for a day or two what all that slow stuff is all about.  I’m digging it.